How to offer an outstanding customer experience in the hospitality industry
Customer experience is at the heart of the hospitality industry. We all know that a happy customer will come back to stay at your hotel and will share their satisfying experience with their friends and family or post a positive online review. Your goal as a hotel manager, therefore, is to improve customer experience. Here are a few ideas on how to achieve that goal.
Technology is your best ally
Holidays always go by too quickly. Thus, no matter if your clients stay with you for a night or for a week, they definitely want to make the most of it. Your front desk staff may be very friendly, but your clients certainly do not want to spend too much time with them. Fortunately, technology allows you to avoid spending too long at the front desk by speeding up the process while offering an outstanding customer experience.
When sending your client their confirmation e-mail containing the information regarding their stay, they will be able to check for any errors. This way they can communicate with you before their arrival to deal with the situation without it taking time off their future stay.
Keep in mind that most of your clients are used to helping themselves and usually prefer doing so. Thus, it could be wise to invest in a service which lets clients check themselves in online or via a kiosk. This will reduce the waiting time at your front desk and will allow your clients to discover and enjoy their room as quickly as possible, which will definitely boost their satisfaction.
In order to offer an outstanding customer experience, make sure that your hotel has an efficient hotel management software (PMS). A good PMS should be equipped with advanced features which allow you to free yourself from some recurrent and time-consuming tasks. This way you have more time to take care of your clients to ensure they have the best possible customer experience.
Go beyond your customer’s expectations
Everyone likes to feel special and your customers are no different. In order to improve their experience, you need to be aware of their expectations and go beyond them. Clients nowadays do not expect to be treated like numbers. They want to be special and feel like you know them well. Your PMS contains a significant amount of information regarding every one of your clients, so make sure to utilize this data, offering them little personalized attentions. Keep in mind that every piece of information concerning a client can be useful in order to offer them an incredible customer experience.
You are welcoming a client traveling solo? Greet them when they enter their room by leaving a welcoming message on their mirror or via their entertainment system. A business travellers just checked in? Give them the Wi-Fi password immediately! A family has chosen to stay at your hotel? Make sure the parents know the pool’s and/or the playground’s opening hours. You may want to leave one lollipop per kid on the bed and program the television so that it is on the cartoon channel upon their arrival. If you have some information to communicate with the parents when they check-in, have some games or toys nearby for the kids to play with. This will keep them busy and will allow you to help the parents quickly. The parents will then be able to get comfortable in their room while their kids enjoy their new toys. What an amazing way to begin the vacation!
Obviously some actions are better suited for certain types of clientele. On the other hand, some more general elements can satisfy more than one customer. No matter which segment of the market you are targeting, it is safe to say that travellers usually like to know what they can explore nearby. Thus make sure to always have a concierge available to answer any questions. This concierge does not necessarily need to be present physically, as long as they can be reached by calling or texting them. You can also have a touchscreen at your front desk from which your clients can search for nearby restaurants, shows happening in the neighborhood or even local attractions. The hospitality industry is constantly evolving, so do not hold on to the traditional methods. Be different and do not be afraid to innovate!
It is crucial to be aware of the latest trends in the hospitality industry, but also of your clients’ comments. They might have some ingenious ideas on how to offer an outstanding customer experience at your hotel. Do not be afraid to ask for their feedback and comments, and to try out their suggestions. The outcome might surprise you!